Accessibility & the Americans with Disabilities Act
Topeka Metro strives to provide the most accessible service to ALL its passengers.
Boarding the Bus
Topeka Metro fixed route buses have a kneeling feature making the first step on board even easier. Every bus is equipped with a ramp or lift platform, which can be used by any passenger who requests to use it. Bus operators are trained to assist people with disabilities in boarding and securing their mobility aids in the bus.
Mobility Device Requirements
Topeka Metro strives to serve anyone using a mobility device, such as a walker, wheelchair, or scooter, who can safely board and ride our buses. By federal law we are only required to transport people whose mobility aids meet specific standards. For your safety, bus operators use front and rear tie-downs to secure wheelchairs and scooters. You may be asked to leave the bus if you refuse to have your wheelchair secured. Lap and shoulder belts are also made available at each wheelchair securement location and passengers are encouraged to wear these belts for added passenger safety. Passengers who feel unsafe riding in their wheelchair or scooter may choose to transfer to and sit in a bus seat; however, their mobility aid must still be secured. Although a passenger may board their mobility aid facing forwards or backwards, it must be secured in the bus forward-facing. Passengers should measure their mobility aid to ensure it meets the following ramp or lift platform dimensions:
Fixed route ramps: 950 pound capacity, 32″ width, and 48″ length when extended out from bus
Lift Service Glaval lift platforms: 1000 pound capacity, 34″ width, and 54″ length
Lift Service ARBOC ramps: 1000 pound capacity, 33 5/16" width, and 62 5/8" length when extended
Seats in the front, lower half of the fixed route buses are priority seating for the elderly and passengers with disabilities. When a passenger in a wheelchair or scooter needs to utilize one of the two securement locations (located under the flip seats), the operator will ensure that any ambulatory passengers sitting in those seats move to another seat so the mobility aid may be secured.
As required by federal law, automated stop announcements of time points, major intersections, and transfer points are made along each fixed route. If temporary bus stops are placed along a detour, operators will manually announce those locations. Operators also identify their bus route when stopping at bus stops that serve more than one route.
Service (or guide) animals necessary for travel by passengers with disabilities are allowed in all Topeka Metro facilities and vehicles, as well as all contract vehicles. Service animals must be trained to perform a specific task to assist the passenger. Service animals should remain on the floor and be controlled by means such as a leash, lead or harness unless it interferes with the task it is to perform. If the animal cannot be on a leash, lead or harness, the owner is still required to maintain control of the animal by whatever means necessary. Uncontrolled animals will not be permitted to ride. The animal must not block aisles, steps, or doorways.
Other animals, such as pets, comfort, therapy or emotional support animals are permitted, but must be fully contained in an appropriate latched pet carrier and remain enclosed in the carrier during transport. The carrier must remain on the floor out of the aisle or doorways. Passengers are responsible for loading and unloading the carrier and must always maintain of the animal. When scheduling a Lift ride, please inform the scheduling office if an animal will be accompanying you.
Life Support Equipment
Life-sustaining equipment, such as a respirator, concentrator, or portable oxygen are permitted in all Topeka Metro vehicles and facilities.
Many service materials are available in accessible formats, such as large print or Braille, upon request from the Quincy Street Station or on the website. Some materials are also available in Spanish.
Topeka Metro offers free how-to-ride clinics for those who may feel unsure about riding the bus. The training is customized to meet each person’s needs. For those with a mobility aid, the training assists in determining if the mobility aid will fit on the ramp or lift platform and how it will be safely secured. Contact Michelle Stottlemire at 785-730-8630 for more information.
Lift Paratransit Service
Topeka Metro’s Lift Service is a paratransit service that provides origin to destination transportation for people whose disability or condition prevents them from using Topeka Metro fixed route buses. Lift Service can take a qualified customer to locations within 3/4 of a mile of a regular Topeka Metro fixed bus route, during the same hours that the bus route runs in that area. Premium service for an additional cost is available to qualified passengers beyond the 3/4 mile corridor to the contiguous corporate city limits of Topeka. Passengers must complete an eligibility form and be approved prior to using the service. While the federal government mandates the eligibility process be completed by 21 days, Topeka Metro strives to provide approval within seven days. Qualified passengers must make advanced ride reservations by calling in before 5:00 p.m. the day before their trip. For more information on the Lift Service, call 785-783-7000 or visit https://topekametro.org/about-metro/paratransit-service-the-lift/.
Topeka Metro makes reasonable modifications to its policies, practices, or procedures when necessary to avoid discrimination on the basis of disability, or to provide program accessibility to our services, subject to several exceptions. Requests should be made in advance, if possible. If it is not possible to make a request in advance, operating personnel will make a determination whether to grant the request at the time it is made. To request a reasonable modification or file a reasonable modification complaint, contact Operations Supervisor Al Bradley at 785-730-8651 or email@example.com.
Visitors riding the fixed route with a valid reduced fare ID card from another transit system will be permitted to ride with Topeka Metro at the reduced rate. The ID card must be shown to the operator upon boarding and before paying the fare.
Visitors needing to use the Lift Service may ride with visitor status for up to 21 days per year. Proof of paratransit eligibility from another transit agency or a statement of the inability to use the fixed route service along with proof of residency and documentation of a disability may be required. Visitors needing service beyond the 21 days will be required to complete a Topeka Metro Lift eligibility application.
Topeka Metro’s website adheres to most guidelines of section508.gov which requires that Federal agencies’ electronic and information technology be accessible to people with disabilities.
If you feel your Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) rights have been violated, contact Operations Supervisor Al Bradley at 785-730-8651 or firstname.lastname@example.org to file a complaint. You may also call customer service at 785-783-7000 or visit https://topekametro.org/about-metro/submit-a-comment/.